June 04, 2005

I meme to say

A game perhaps called Book Tag Meme (or is it Meek Tag Boom? Took Back Mime? Ta Lu Mein?) is making the rounds, and I have sultry Annie and effervescent Yazad to thank for putting me on the spot.

Some spot.

To the questions quickly:

Total number of books I own:
Never counted.

Last book I bought:
(I think) Peter Matthiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse.

Last book I read:
For the hundred-and-umpteenth time, Destination Moon (Tintin).

Five books that mean a lot to me:
Joel Sternfeld, American Prospects. A stunning, sad, funny, wistful book of photographs by my favourite photographer.

Jean de Brunhoff, Babar the Elephant books. Childhood memories on every page, every word, every name ("Rataxes"!), every picture.

Dave Barry, Dave Barry's Greatest Hits. Someday I wanna write humour like this man. This book has his moving, and yet funny, tribute to his father. I plan to kill the person who has not returned my copy of this one to me. If I can find him/her.

Richard Shenkman, Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of World History. The first book a special someone gave me. I've forgiven, but not forgotten...

Me, Branded by Law. My first book. The feeling must be sort of like hitting your first Test hundred. What do you say, Rahul Dravid?

My diary. Actually now several, in which I scribble thoughts and experiences and -- sometimes -- what's on T-shirts when travelling.

That's six, in honour of my son's sixth birthday today.

And may I direct you to this.

A book that's on its way out of your house as you write this:
Julien Gracq, A Balcony in the Forest. Did simply nothing for me. Pardonnez-moi, Julien.

Others who will join me on the spot.
John Naughton


Anonymous said...

For the hundred-and-umpteenth time, Destination Moon (Tintin).
Then shouldn't you add "Explorers to the Moon" to that list of hundred-and-umpteenth time?

Neela said...


I've been faithfully following the trails of blogs on this book thingie (i refuse to call it a meme it sounds like such a funereal word!) and I notice a strange thing: most of the writers write proudly that they have several hundred or thousand books, then sheepishly admit in the next paragraph that they haven't read most of them.

as someone who hasn't read a lot of her meagre 300 book collection, I can empathize, but my respect for these book lovers went down tremendously. Why I said to myself, these passionate lovers of Derrida and Dostoyevsky, of Manto and Marquez, why they haven't even read all of their several thousand books! they simply buy books and then simply let them lie, much as others would buy porcelain owls or collections of milk jugs..

perhaps they will be comforted to know that Emerson identified only 5 great authors that the truly educated person should read. One of those was Shakespeare, the other Plato and I forget the others. Perhaps it was the Flashman Series.. (which if Ralph Waldo had not recommended, he should have!). I was saddened to see it was not on anyone top 5.